NEW JERSEY DEVILS
LAST SEASON: 38-36-8, 84 points, seventh in the Metropolitan Division. Missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
COACH: John Hynes (second season, second NHL season).
ADDED: LW Taylor Hall, D Ben Lovejoy, C Vernon Fiddler, RW Beau Bennett, D Kyle Quincey, D Yohann Auvitu.
LOST: D Adam Larsson, D David Schlemko, F Jordin Tootoo, C Stephen Gionta, F Bobby Farnham.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Taylor Hall gives the Devils their first true goal scorer since losing Zach Parisi to free agency after the 2011 season and having Ilya Kovalchuk retire and return the Russia after the following season. The 24-year-old has a chip on his shoulder after being traded by Edmonton, where he spent his first six seasons. He had 132 goals and 196 assists in 381 games and led the Oilers in scoring for three of the past four seasons.
OUTLOOK: The second-season of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ model is in place. This is by far the fastest team the Devils have had in years. They improved six points in Hynes’ first season and now have more offense to support All-Star goaltender Cory Schneider. The question mark is the defense. Larsson was top pair backliner. Lovejoy could step in and work with Andy Greene. Auvitu might surprise. With no Sidney Crosby to rely on, maybe this is a playoff team.